Building New Holiday Traditions

Now that Jack is 3 ½ years old, Christmas is a REALLY big deal. This makes it even more fun for my husband and me. There is nothing we enjoy more than listening to how excited he gets about Santa and snowmen and Rudolph. There’s nothing better than seeing his eyes light up when he spots Christmas lights (“Look Mom! They’re so beautiful!”). He’s even learning Christmas Carols this year and it’s pretty darn adorable.

But even during this magical time, conflict found a way to sneak in when Hub and I found ourselves disagreeing on how we should handle certain traditions. Family traditions are very important to both of us and we want our boys to experience the warm, cozy feeling associated with them. But what happens when we have different ideas of what those traditions should be? “That’s not the way WE did it when I was young!” “You’re supposed to do it THIS way!” You know how that goes. After discussing bickering over these trivial concepts, we came to the conclusion that maybe it was time to build new warm, cozy memories.

Here are some of our newly emerging traditions:


Putting the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. We have family over for Thanksgiving and they stay through the weekend so we put our tree up on Friday so we can all decorate it together.  Believe it or not, we can usually accomplish this with a minimal amount of arguing and it always turns out looking beautiful.



Advent Calendar. My mom buys all the grandchildren advent calendars with those horrible, plastic-tasting chocolates hidden behind the numbered doors. This works as a great test of patience for Jack because he knows he can only open one a day. It is also a great motivator to get out of bed and get ready for daycare. This morning he woke up and announced “It’s Day Three!” and ran downstairs.



Mr. Grinch. Jack is obsessed with “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (he calls it “Mr. Grinch.”) We record it the first time it’s televised during the season and watch it a million times throughout December. After Christmas we delete it until next year. (If not, we’d be singing “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch…” in July.)



The Elf on the Shelf. This is the first year an Elf came to visit us. He is another great motivator to get Jack moving in the morning (although not quite as effective as chocolate).



Special Christmas books. I went to the library and picked out a bunch of holiday-related books. I wrapped each book individually and every night in December Jack gets to open a new “special Christmas book” and we cuddle and read together. (I can’t take credit for this idea as I think I saw it on Pinterest.)

They looked prettier on Pinterest.
They looked prettier on Pinterest.

What are some of your special Holiday traditions?

One thought on “Building New Holiday Traditions

  1. Aww, this is so sweet! My daughter is the same age and we are soaking up the same traditions! My mom also buys an advent calendar every year — a great incentive to finish dinner. And although I poo-pooed the Elf on the Shelf (before I understood what he was all about, mind you) he is a great incentive to get up in the morning as well!


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